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A Rare Gift

by Sharmila Roy Ghosal
(Dehradun, India)

Dina rabbit and Tuna deer were having tea in Dina’s garden when Tuna saw a bear cub standing near the gate and looking at them.

She beckoned the bear to join them. Her name was Julie, she was from the Black forest and new to the Evergreen forest. She had come to live with her aunt who lived in the middle of the forest. Her mother had died crushed under a boulder, and Julie had never seen her father.

Within a few days, Julie had made a number of friends in the forest. All the animals in the jungle went out of their way to be kind to the little orphan cub.

The days passed by quickly, soon it was time for celebration in the Evergreen forest. It was Luther the lion’s birthday. Everyone was invited to the party.

The animals busied themselves with buying gifts for the lion, all except Julie, who had no money to buy a gift for Luther the lion.

Sad and dejected, Julie went and sat near the riverside. Mary the peacock was preening herself when she saw Julie sitting alone and looking sad.

She thought of the day when her chick Molly perched on a branch, had lost balance and had fallen into the water. Mary cried out, she couldn’t swim, she knew that her chick would drown when suddenly Julie had jumped into the water and saved Molly.

Mary heard Julie’s story and beamed. “Don’t worry, dear, you will attend the birthday party”. Mary would not be able to attend the party as she had to look after her mother who was sick.

The next day Mary plucked out some of her feathers and collected some shells from the shore and took them to Priya the tailorbird. The bird knew what to do. She was Mary’s best friend and only too happy to help her.

Priya trimmed, cut, and stitched the peacock feathers with her beak using silk from cobwebs to make a beautiful wall hanging. She used the juice of the keekar tree as gum to paste the shells on it.

It was Julie’s birthday gift for Luther.

The lion was overjoyed on receiving such a rare gift and found it to be more attractive than the other gifts.

Julie became a great favourite with Luther the lion henceforth.

Moral: Be kind and compassionate to one another


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